by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
ANSON COUNTY, N.C. - An Anson County man is facing child abuse charges after police said the child he was babysitting walked into the middle of a busy road.
Police arrested Melvin Sturdivant on Monday after they said he fell asleep while babysitting the 10-month-old girl, whose mother was at work.
Investigators said sometime around 10 a.m. Monday the girl apparently walked out of an open front door and onto West Franklin Street.
"The speed limit is 35 miles an hour, but it's a very busy thoroughfare through the city of Monroe. Lot of traffic on that road," said Capt. Phil Pressley with Monroe Police.
A passing driver stopped and rescued the girl from the middle of the road and called 911.
"I found her. She walked right out in the middle of the road, right in front of me," the woman told dispatchers. "She walked right down from the driveway. It looks like the front door is open, and the screen door is there."
When officers arrived on scene, authorities said Sturdivant was discovered sleeping inside the house.
Neighbors told Channel 9 the girl's mother works two jobs to support her family and when she finally arrived home that morning, she was frantic.
"She was sobbing, clinging to her children." said Flo Rollins.
Rollins said she has lived on Franklin Street for years and has often worried about the heavy traffic.
"I'm certainly glad that it wasn't as bad as it could have been," she said.
Sturdivant will be in court on July 2.